wine and dine in sri lanka

Wine and Dine

If you dip your finger into a local cooking  pot you might be surprised  by some strange flavors. Located right in the middle of the big shipping lanes of the ancient world, this spice-rich island has attracted many peoples to its beautiful shores. Sri Lankan culinary art reflects the traditions of these various cultures.

Most hotels here offer a wide variety of excellent oriental and western cuisine and special theme fare. There are restaurants specializing in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Swiss and German food or fusion food. Some specialize in Sri Lankan cooking. 

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preparing toddy in Sri Lanka

Rice and Curry

If you’re looking for a taste of Sri Lanka, you should try rice and curry. Boiled rice and spicy curries are the staples diet of most Sri Lankans.A warning to the uninitiated watch out for those curries – “hot” is definitely the word for them, and they can be tough on the first timer’s palate. Just about anything can be curried.  It’s a dish of meat, fish or vegetables, cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with chillies , pepper , onions, various spices, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves nutmeg, turmeric..

Rice ( either boiled plain white or spicy and coloured with turmeric)  is usually served with up to sic=x or seven curries. It may be accompanied by various pickles, chutney, and sambol – a spicy mixture of griend coconut and red chillies. Well known is the fact that Mediterranean food  constitute the most  nutritious meal. Take it as a fact that a typical Sri Lankan meal of rice and curry washed down with water often hot, is an excellent competitor or a close second.

Breakfast Fare

The local breakfast and dinner favorites  are hoppers ad string-hoppers. Hopper are light and crips and bowl –shaped, made by swirling a mixture of rice flour and coconut milk in a wok-shaped pan. The sides are wafer-crisp and the centre is soft , and it’s delicious when eaten hot with a egg baked in the centre. String hoppers are delicate circles made of squiggles of the rice flour paste squeezed through a sieve, steamed till they’re light and soft.

Lamprais

Try the Lamprais  - no, they’re not the stuffed eels the Greeks drool over, but a Dutch variation of the rice and curry theme.Rice boiled in stock and a selection of “dry” curries are wrapped in a banana leaf and baked, to enhance the flavor.

 

Desserts

If you still have room for dessert after all that, go for a delicious dessert of curd topped with treacle. Or try Watalappam – a rich pudding made with jiggery ,fudge from the Kitul palm treacle. If you’re battling the bulge, you can still chose from a mouth-watering range of fresh fruits that will really give you a feel of the tropics.

Fruits

Try perennials like Papaya, Pineapple, several varieties of Mango, Passion fruit, and over a dozen varieties of Bananas  or go for the unusual – pearly white Mangosteen in it’s purple husk, Rmbutan,Sapdilla, Soursap ,Guava,Beli, Varaka, and Durian.

Tambili (King Coconut)

While you’re here, don’t just ask for fruit juice. Tambili  ( King Coconut Juice) drunk straight from the golden fruit, the delicate Kurumba , the crushed pink ice of Watermelon juice, Passion Fruit juice, Orange , Pineapple, Papaya – take your pick.

Ceylon tea

Refresh yourself with the best in the world – Ceylon tea. Sample the fine blends and venture out to the various flavours – Orange, Mint, Lemon, Lime, and Strawberry.

Toddy and Arrack

The two traditional Sri Lankan drinks that cheer are Arrack and Toddy. Toddy is the fermenting sap of the coconut flower .Arrack is the distilled essence of Toddy.

VSOA ( very Special Old Arrack) , 7 years Arrack, and double distilled Arrack are served in most hotels, but the best Toddy is found at wayside taverns. The local beers – lager, pilsner, three coins & stout , are also very popular and freely available. Some supermarkets sell liquor and beer.

 

 

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